Sarah Shourd, one of the three former UC Berkeley grad students held since last July in prison in Iran, has been released, according to several news wire stories.
The Tehran Public and Revolutionary Courts website reported that Shourd was released from prison “at the order of the case inspector and with the agreement of the Tehran Prosecutor.” According to Iranian law, Shourd, 32, may leave Iran but is obliged to return for future court proceedings.
Tehran’s chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi said a $500,000 bail had been paid to Iran’s Bank Melli in Muscat, Oman but it was not immediately clear who paid it, according to the Associated Press. A U.S. official said neither the U.S. government nor the families of the hikers had paid the bail, but could not say who else might have paid it. Shourd is flying to Oman where she will be reunited with her mother.
There was talk of Shourd being released last week — but any raised hopes were subsequently quashed by the Tehran Prosecutor.
Shourd was being held with her fiance Shane Bauer and friend Josh Battal, both of whom remain incarcerated. The three were detained last year when they were hiking and crossed the border into Iran during a trek in Iraqi Kurdistan. They were charged with spying and illegally entering the country, accusations they reject.
Shourd is said to have been denied treatment for serious health problems, including a lump in her breast and precancerous cervical cells.
In the wake of the news, the families of Shourd, Bauer and Fattal released a joint statement which read: “All of our families are relieved and overjoyed that Sarah has at last been released but were also heartbroken that Shane and Josh are still being denied their freedom for no just cause.”